Open Access at the AAP

open access, reading, censorship, digitized materials, publishing

Open Access in Publishing Opens Doors

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) supports Open Access, or the free unlimited distribution of professional and scholarly articles. Open Access fits in neatly with the priorities and views of the AAP. For 2016-2017, its positions at home and abroad are:

* Modernizing copyright because the copyright incentivizes authors to imagine, publish, and disseminate “everything from science fiction fantasies to cookbooks to textbooks and much more”

* Celebrating Freedom of Expression because “publishers cherish and champion the freedoms to read, write, and publish in the US and abroad. AAP and the publishing industry are outspoken opponents of censorship”

* Embracing Digital Publishing’s “new technologies and delivery methods to expand consumer choice and accessing models” and

* Promoting Fair and Open Markets “essential for publishers to compete on a level-playing field…protection and enforcement benefits all copyrighted works.”

Strategies for Success

The AAP’s strategies for achieving these goals include supporting Open Access. High-quality content needs to be shared among researchers and practitioners to benefit society and build reading audiences. The AAP believes libraries and funding bodies will best make this happen.

A second strategy is Expanding Markets Through Trade Policy. Internationally negotiated trade policies must include enforcement provisions for copyrights and modernizing copyright policies in light of new technologies and delivery systems. This approach fosters an environment nourishing creativity and gives US publishers access to markets in developing countries. Publishers ought not to have to fear local government-sanctioned copycat and intellectual thievery.

The third strategy to reach its goals is advocating for First Amendment protections in the United States and being unafraid to pursue legal, anti-censorship, and public education actions here and abroad.

The AAP encourages publishers to collaborate with schools and teachers to develop rigorous, stimulating content. It also encourages engaging readers through e-books in which adaptive, interactive e-textbooks and learning platforms connect readers to authors, new works, and each other. Raising educational standards will benefit readers, authors, and publishers.

Open Access expands consumer choices regardless of whether works are in print or digitized, but new technologies and delivery methods can expand access to books and journals in ways consumers never before achieved access.

Publishing, Content, and Intellectual Property Rights

The AAP supports bringing all forces to bear on legal and international bodies for the full enforcement of copyright protections. This will encourage open access in global markets and expand knowledge around the world. Through international copyright treaties creativity and culture are fostered, and authors and publishers are encouraged to produce more works.

Finally, easy access to books, research, and other reading materials promotes literacy. It’s not the other way around. Publishers are committed to expanding literacy programs because reading brings joy and promotes their own self-interests of selling more books, which in this case is a mutually agreeable outcome. Therefore, the publishing industry advocates open access and is partnering with governments and funding agencies to make reading materials available worldwide.

Dr. Goldmeier was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University, where he received his Doctorate in Education. Currently, he teaches international university students and serves as a business analyst and development consultant for companies and nonprofit organizations.

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